Thursday, 30 April 2015

The Barefoot Earl

Timothy has been walking barefoot a lot - again- during this vacation; reminiscent, perhaps, of the Staples baronet, of Lissan in County Tyrone, who walked everywhere in his bare feet.

Except that I personally desist from this habit, in the British Isles, especially during the winter months.

I am of the belief that it toughens the souls of one's feet and exfoliates naturally.

It is fundamentally good for the feet.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Pizzeria Peperone

Timothy Belmont has abstained from the Devil's Brew today. Let us simply say that I had my fair share yesterday, here and there.

Yet again, I spent an agreeable day on El Cotillo beach. The sun shone all day.

Tonight I fancied a pizza so, having spent a few hours back at base freshening up and all that rot, I made a beeline for Pizzeria Peperone on Calle Iglesia, Corralejo.

This is a bright and cheerful little establishment run by Italians. There seems to be an established Italian community in this town.

Inside Peperone there are nine tables, robust wooden chairs in different, bold colours; blue place settings; and pictures of pizza vegetables on the walls.

ordered the garlic pizza bread, followed by a pizza with a fancy name, though including tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, artichoke, mushroom and garlic.

Timothy Belmont is a man who relishes his garlic by the bucketload. A whole clove would suffice on a pizza.

Alas, I think they sprinkle a few tiny pieces of the clove. They aren't at fault, I hasten to add.

Perhaps raw garlic in a sauce on some dish is an acquired taste: in this state it can be fiery and strong.

My meal and a soft drink came to €13.50.

The Ugly Duckling: II

Last night I enjoyed another delightful dinner at The Ugly Duckling, Corralejo, where Henrik welcomes and looks after his customers with such aplomb.

I was warmly greeted and shown to a my table, where Henrik poured me a complimentary glass of Cava.

For the benefit of those of you who haven't been following my travels, The Ugly Duckling is a very small Danish restaurant, in a little street which isn't terribly far from the port and harbour.

It has six tables inside. The menu is limited to beef tenderloin, chicken breast, and fillet of salmon; and a Danish speciality of the day.

There is a choice of about three sauces and a variety of vegetables, including potatoes served chipped, mashed or roasted.

As a starter I chose the prawns in garlic butter with sour cream and onion.

My main course comprised a perfectly cooked, boneless fillet of salmon, with bearnaise butter, mashed potato, and spinach.

I had a glass of the very good house wine.

By this stage of the proceedings the long-suffering nose-bag was bursting to capacity; nevertheless, Henrik persuaded me to have a slice of their chocolate cake.

Everything was first-rate, beautifully prepared and executed; service exceptionally good, most courteous, and cordial.

I look forward to my next visit in several days time.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Roads Scandal

The infrastructure - viz. the main streets - in Corralejo are being totally renovated for the 21st century.

They are becoming considerably more attractive for tourists, clearly a priority for Fuerteventura's economy.

The Main street in the town is taking years, literally, to complete.

However, an observer shall notice that the work is diligent, thorough and painstaking: costly blocks of stone are cut with a special saw and the result in indeed impressive.

IS IT NOT a shame that, in spite of similar endeavours on the main thoroughfares and squares of the capital city of Northern Ireland, utility companies are allowed to uproot expensive granite blocks and throw them unceremoniously in a tipper truck or skip?

Queen's Square, Belfast, is a good example.

In 2014, many months of work were ruined in a week or so by a utility company which drilled beautiful granite blocks from the ground and replaced them with Tarmac.

To my mind, this act amounted to criminal damage.

Let the contractor or sub-contractor be named and shamed.

Does the taxpayer have, or not have, a Right to know the name of the company which effectively stole the fine granite blocks at Queen's Square?

Should they not be punished, struck off future work for water, electricity, gas, telecommunication and other companies?

We elect politicians to deal with such matters.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Bombay Masala Restaurant

I spent another wonderful day on the beach, at El Cotillo, today. I've seen it busier, though. No matter.

I lunched on a mere apple, satsuma, and banana.

This light repast was more than compensated for by my meal this evening at Bombay Masala restaurant, Music Square, Corralejo.

I've been a customer here for several years and they know me now.

I'm always greeted cordially.

I took my usual table and ordered a beverage while I perused the menu.

Bombay Masala is an unpretentious, modest little place. The ambiance is quiet and simple.

There is background music, though one eats here for the good grub and charming staff.

Tonight I had the lamb Korma with onion pilau rice, accompanied by pescwari naan bread.

The lamb, unsurprisingly, melted in the mouth: it was lean and tender.

Everything was delicious indeed.

They brought me the complimentary liqueur with the bill, a reasonable €20.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Soul Barcafé

I was looking forward to a table at the bijou Soul Barcafé, Music Square, Corralejo, this evening. I fancied one of their 50 brands of gin.

Accordingly, I arrived after eight and a pretty young woman welcomed me with a menu and seat directly in view of the platform where a couple of singers were entertaining everybody.

I fancied a Tanqueray Ten, with the Nordic Blue tonic-water.

Cognizant that they are in the habit of bringing the G&T fully poured, without the option ~ personally I prefer to pour my own amount of tonic into the gin ~ I expressly told the waitress that I'd pour it myself.

She didn't seem to understand, though left me.

She returned a few minutes later with the usual drink and 100% of the tonic poured in.

I pointed this out. She left again. The barman appeared and apologised that the waitress had not understood (!).

My order duly arrived, though  the barman had given my original drink to the couple behind me, free!

I overheard this, turned round, laughed, and remarked that they'd got a good deal.

The sting in the tail was the length of time it took for them to bring me the bill.

I got the impression that my complaint, if that was what it was, caused resentment.

Resentment, despite the fact that they were clearly at fault.

I eventually had to ask for my change.

I had intended to leave a tip despite everything, though lifted the coins and put them back in my pocket.

I may or may not be back.

Shaen House


Of the early period of the Kemeys family the accounts are somewhat confused, but it is generally agreed that their origin was Norman.

They rose to prominence at the period of the conquest of Gwent and Glamorgan.

The original form of the name is uncertain, though it is said to be Camois or Camys, identical with Camois in the Roll of Battle Abbey.

They were known as "Kemeys of Began" as early as the 13th century.

The Irish branch claims descent from the ancient family of Kemeys of Newport, Monmouthshire, which family bore as their arms vert on a chevron argent, three pheons sable.

THOMAS KEMMIS (1710-74), of Shaen Castle, Killeen, Straboe, Rossnaclough, and Clonin, Queen's County, wedded Susan, daughter of John Long, of Derrynaseera, and had issue,
JOHN, of Shaen;
James, major-general;
THOMAS, of whom we treat;
William Edward;
The third son,

THOMAS KEMMIS JP (1753-1823), of Shaen Castle, crown and treasury solicitor for Ireland, patron of Rosenallis, married, in 1773, Anne, daughter of Henry White, of Dublin, and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
Anne; Mary; Elizabeth.
The eldest son, 

THE REV THOMAS KEMMIS (1774-1827), of Shaen Castle, and Brockley Park, Queen's County, Patron of Rosenallis, married Mary, daughter and heir of Arthur Riley, of Airfield, County Dublin, and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
The eldest son, 

THOMAS KEMMIS JP, (1798-1844), of Shaen Castle and Straboe, Patron of Rosenallis, High Sheriff, 1832, married, in 1834, Mary Henrietta, eldest daughter of the Rev Robert Blackwood Jelly, of Portarlington, and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
Mr Kemmis was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS KEMMIS JP DL (1837-1906), of Shaen, High Sheriff, 1860, who married, in 1858, Victoria Alexandrina, eldest daughter of Hans H Hamilton QC, of 26 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin, and had issue,
THOMAS HENRY, his heir;
Augusta Mary; Helen.
His only son,

THOMAS HENRY KEMMIS JP DL, of Shaen, captain, Royal Fusiliers, born in 1860, wedded, in 1904, Mary Caroline, eldest daughter of Charles Stewart Trench, of Clay Hill, Virginia, USA, and had issue,
Victoria Mary, b 1908;
Elizabeth Gertrude, b 1911.

SHAEN HOUSE, near Port Laoise, formerly Maryborough, County Laois, is a house of late Georgian appearance.

It comprises two storeys over a basement.

The entrance front has two three-sided bows; pedimented one-bay projection in the centre; Greek Ionic porch with acroterion.

There is a notable castellated gateway at the demesne's main entrance.

Shaen House is now a hospital.

First published in April, 2013.

Friday, 24 April 2015

The Ugly Duckling

Today was fine and sunny, it transpired. After breakfast, I walked quite briskly across the town of Corralejo to a sort of shopping centre, where the Zara store is located.

Many, if not most, of the shops open at ten o'clock.

I have developed a liking for the café condensado here, a rich concoction of the cocoa bean and sweet condensed milk.

During the afternoon, I settled at a small open-air bar called Bar Soul, in Music Square, where I encountered a couple of most agreeable Irish ladies. 

We chin-wagged for three hours, by Jove. I owe them a snifter.

THIS EVENING, I dined at The Ugly Ducking, a very small Danish restaurant in Calle La Ballena, Corralejo.

In a former existence it was called Los Pepes.

The decor today is unpretentious: White ceiling and walls; vintage Danish posters; six black tables.

Cognizant that this bijou restaurant is well sought-after for a table, I emailed them a few weeks ago and reserved my place on three occasions.

I was cordially welcomed by Henrik and shown to my table.

He brought me a complimentary glass of Cava.

Having perused the menu, I opted for the Green Salad, followed by the Dish of the Day (viz. creamy pork casserole).

The salad was delicious: tossed in a mustard dressing, with pickled gherkins in a ramekin at the side.

Fresh bread came with oil and olives.

The casserole was hearty, comprising lean pork, small potatoes, vegetables and a creamy sauce.

I also had a glass of the house wine which, at €2.50, was palatable and easy-drinking.

Henrik brought me a complimentary glass of his home-made licorice vodka liqueur, rich and flavourful.

The bill amounted to just over €20.

I've reserved a table here on two more occasions, so I bade them Farewell.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Piazza Grande

This evening I've enjoyed a simple Italian dish of macaroni in a bacon and tomato sauce. Given that I have a taste for the garlic, I requested extra, though they never realise the extent to which young Belmont craves the stuff. 

I could easily consume a few cloves of an evening.

Nevertheless, the macaroni duly arrived. I was seated outdoors, so I suppose one might describe the experience as being al fresco.

This tasty dish was served with the customary basket of toasted, sliced bread rolls or whatever.

Some sort of fancy oil came in a bottle, too; and Parmesan cheese.

By Jove, it was jolly good; especially for six or seven euros.

The native tongue at this establishment is Italian.

I'm seated beside two pretty girls and doubtless the interest is not mutual, as far as they are concerned at least.

Notwithstanding that regrettable fact, I shall enjoy my Tanqueray and linger awhile.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015


I'd already consumed a few refreshers, viz. the Tanquerays, during the afternoon, so opted for the rather more salubrious agua con gas this evening at Avenida.

Avenida is a very popular local restaurant in Corralejo; though it was quiet when I darkened their door earlier this evening.

I took a table at the window and asked for the said water.

Sea-bass was one of the Specials; however, I ordered their grilled chicken, half portion.

Half portions at this establishment are normal portions at home; whereas full portions are meant for stokers, rednecks and Billy Bunter.

They brought the yummy fresh bread with alioli. Beware. Their alioli is strong. Only consume it if you like garlic. I love it.

The chicken was fine, served with lettuce, a slice of tomato, and some chips.

My meal came to a not unreasonable €6.40, so I left them a generous tip.

AT THE moment I am installed comfortably in the Bar Bouganville.

Corralejo : I

Weather still good in Northern Ireland? I'm presently installed at Corralejo, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, to be precise.

The journey here was uneventful, I'm glad to report.

I was gratified to see Ulster's celebrated Dromona butter on the shelves of the local SPAR supermarket; which I accordingly bought.

Well, readers, I can recount that I've enjoyed my fair share of Tanqueray gin already. Alas, we have no Shortcross Gin here, yet.

Today it is fine and sunny: I could get used to this. 

I wonder if I could remove to sunnier climes permanently?

I have a table reserved at The Ugly Duckling thrice, the first date being the 24th April.

Tonight I might well darken the doors of Avenida.

By the way, the special Tanqueray and Feverfew pack cost me the princely sum of €13.95. Not bad, what?

Gowran Castle


CHARLES AGAR, of Yorkshire, married Ellis, daughter of Peter Blancheville, of County Kilkenny, and settling at Gowran, in that county, died there in 1696, and was succeeded by his son,

JAMES AGAR, of Gowran Castle, who wedded firstly, in 1692, Susannah, daughter of John Alexander, but by that lady had no issue to survive youth.

He espoused secondly, Mary, eldest daughter of Sir Henry Wemyss, of Danesfort, County Kilkenny, and had by her,
HENRY, his heir;
The elder son, 

HENRY AGAR, sat in the parliament which assembled at the accession of GEORGE II, in 1727, for the borough of Gowran.

He married, in 1733, Anne, only daughter of the Rt Rev Welbore Ellis, Lord Bishop of Meath, and sister of Welbore Ellis, 1st Lord Mendip, and had issue,
JAMES, his successor;
Welbore Ellis;
CHARLES, Lord Archbishop of Dublin; cr Earl of Normanton;
Henry, in holy orders;
Mr Agar died in 1746, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

THE RT HON JAMES AGAR MP (1735-88), of Gowran Castle, who having many years represented County Kilkenny in parliament, and filled some high official situations in Ireland, was created Baron Clifden, in 1776.

He was advanced to the dignity of a viscountcy, in 1781, as VISCOUNT CLIFDEN, of Gowran, County Kilkenny.

His lordship wedded Lucia, eldest daughter of John Martin, and widow of the Hon Henry Boyle Walsingham, 2nd son of Henry, Earl of Shannon, and had issue,
HENRY WELBORE, his successor;
John Ellis, in holy orders;
Charles Bagenal.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY WELBORE, 2nd Viscount (1761-1836), who inherited, in 1802, the barony of Mendip, upon the demise of his great-uncle, Welbore, Lord Mendip, and assumed the additional name of ELLIS.

His lordship married, in 1792, Lady Caroline Spencer, eldest daughter of George, 3rd Duke of Marlborough KG, and had an only son,

GEORGE JAMES WELBORE (1797-1833), created BARON DOVER in 1831.

HENRY,  3rd Viscount Clifden and 3rd Baron Mendip.

GOWRAN CASTLE, County Kilkenny, is an elegantly-appointed, substantial house built for Henry, 2nd Viscount Clifden, to designs attributable to William Robertson (1770-1850), forming an attractive landmark in the centre of Gowran.

Probably incorporating the fabric of an early 18th century house built by James, 1st Viscount Clifden, the present edifice represents the continuation of a long-standing presence on site having origins dating back to at least the late 14th century.

Attributes identifying the architectural design significance of the composition include the balanced configuration of pleasantly-proportioned openings centred on each front on a Classical frontispiece exhibiting expert masonry in locally-sourced Kilkenny limestone.

Although a later range has been lost the essential attributes of the original portion prevail, together with substantial quantities of the historic fabric both to the exterior and to the interior.

Forming a prominent focal point enhancing the townscape of Gowran, the house remains of additional importance in the locality for the connections with the Agar-Ellis and the Moran families.

It was inherited by the daughter of the 3rd Viscount, who married the 3rd Baron Annaly.

Gowran was sold by the 4th Lord Annaly ca 1955.

First published in May, 2011.  Clifden arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Carton House


This illustrious and ancient family is descended from a common ancestor with the house of FITZMAURICE, Earls of Kerry (an earldom now merged with the marquessesate of Lansdowne) and that of WINDSOR, Earls of Plymouth; namely,

MAURICE FITZGERALD, LORD OF LANSTEPHAN, through whose exertions the possession of Ireland was chiefly accomplished by HENRY II.

This Maurice was the son of Gerald FitzOtho (son of Walter FitzOtho, who, at the general survey of the kingdom in 1078, was castellan of Windsor, and was appointed by WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR, warden of the forests of Berkshire; which Walter was the son of

OTHO, a rich and powerful lord in the time of ALFRED THE GREAT, descended from the Dukes of Tuscany, a baron of England, according to Sir William Dugdale, in the reign of EDWARD THE CONFESSOR, by Nesta, daughter of Rees, Prince of South Wales.
The said Maurice obtained for his services a grant of extensive territories in the province of Leinster, and was constituted, in 1172, one of the governors of Ireland; in which year he slew O'Rourke, Prince of Meath, then in rebellion against the English Government.
This feudal chief died, full of honour, in 1177, and was succeeded by his eldest son, 

GERALD FITZGERALD (c1150-1204), 1st Baron of Offaly, who was with his father in the memorable sally out of Dublin, in 1173, when that city was besieged by O'Connor, King of Connaught, with an army of 36,000 men, over whom the FitzGeralds obtained a complete victory.

This Gerald, dying at Sligo, was succeeded by his son,

MAURICE FITZGERALD (1194-1257), 2nd Baron, Lord Chief Justice of Ireland,
who was put into possession, by a mandatory letter of HENRY III, dated 1216, of Maynooth and all the other lands of which his father died seized in Ireland, and was put also into possession of the castle of CRUM, County Limerick.
This nobleman is said to have been the first who brought the Orders of the Franciscans and the Dominicans into Ireland. In 1229, the King, appreciating the good services of the family since its settlement in Ireland, constituted his lordship lord-justice of the kingdom. In 1236, Lord Offaly built the castle of Armagh; and, in 1242, he erected a similar edifice at Athlone.
His lordship died in 1257, in the habit of St Francis, leaving the reputation of having been a "valiant knight, a very pleasant man, inferior to none in the kingdom, having lived all his life with commendation."

By his wife he had issue,
Gerald FitzMaurice;
MAURICE FITZGERALD, of whom we treat;
David FitzMaurice;
Thomas FitzMaurice.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, 

MAURICE FITZGERALD (1238-c1286), 3rd Baron, Chief Governor of Ireland,
then in minority; and Prince EDWARD having obtained the dominion of Ireland from his father, HENRY III, claimed his wardship as a part of the prerogative; but the barony of OFFALY being held by the minor and his deceased father under Margaret, Countess of Lincoln, to whom belonged the county of Kildare, as widow of the Earl of Pembroke, that lady contested the right of wardship, and brought the case before the King himself for decision. This nobleman was afterwards Chief Governor of Ireland.
He espoused firstly, Maud, daughter of Sir Gerald de Prendergast, by who he had issue, a daughter, Amabel; and secondly, Emmeline, daughter of Stephen Longespee, by whom he had a daughter, JULIANA FITZGERALD, LADY OF THOMOND.

Lord Offaly was succeeded at his decease by his cousin,

JOHN FITZGERALD, designated of Callann, who wedded firstly, Margery, daughter of Sir Thomas Anthony, with whom he acquired the lands of Decies and Desmond, and had an only son, MAURICE.

He espoused secondly, Honora, daughter of Hugh O'Connor (the first Irish lady chosen for a wife by any member of the family), and had four sons,
Gilbert, ancestor of The White Knights;
John, ancestor of The Knights of Glin;
Maurice, first Knight of Kerry, or The Black Knight;
Thomas, ancestor of the FitzGeralds, of The Island, County Kerry.
This John being killed with his eldest son, Maurice, at Callann, by MacCarthy Mor, against whom the FitzGeralds had raised a great army in 1261, was succeeded by his grandson,

THOMAS, nicknamed Nappagh Simiacus, or the APE,
a surname thus acquired - being only nine months old when his father and grandfather fell at Callann, his attendants rushing out at the first astonishment excited by the intelligence, left the child alone in its cradle, when a baboon, kept in the family, took him up, and carried him to the top of the steeple of Tralee Abbey;
whence, after conveying him round the battlements, and exhibiting him to the appalled spectators, he brought him down safely, and laid him in his cradle. From this tradition the supporters of the house of LEINSTER are said to have been adopted.
This thomas was constituted a Lord Justice of Ireland, and captain of all Desmond, in 1295; and being of so much power, was generally styled Prince and Ruler of Munster.
He married Margaret, daughter of John, Lord Barry, of Oletham; and dying in 1298, left two sons,
JOHN, his successor;
Maurice, created EARL OF DESMOND in 1329.
Thomas was succeeded by his elder son,

JOHN, 5th Baron (c1250-1316).
This nobleman being at variance with William de Vescy, Lord of Kildare, and Lord Chief Justice of Ireland in 1291, and having various charges to prefer against him, came over to England, and confronted, and challenged the said Vescy, Lord of Kildare, before the King.
Lord Kildare first took up the glove, but subsequently withdrawing to France, His Majesty EDWARD I pronounced against his lordship, and conferred upon Lord Offaly Vescy's manors and Lordship of Kildare, Rathangan, etc.
Lord Offaly returned triumphantly to Ireland, and having continued to promote the English interest there, was created by EDWARD II, in 1316, EARL OF KILDARE.
His lordship died in the same year.

FROM this nobleman the family honours descended, without anything remarkable occurring, to

GERALD, 5th Earl,
who died, leaving a daughter and heir, Elizabeth, who marrying James Butler, 4th Earl of Ormonde, the King's sheriff, in 1434, was ordered, on payment of the usual fine to the Exchequer, to give full livery of the Earl of Kildare's estates to this latter nobleman and his wife; and on the same roll, in that year, we find that Lord Ormonde and his wife paid the accustomed "relief" due to the Crown out of the estates of the said Gerald, Lord Kildare.
But no claim was ever made by the Earls of Ormonde to the parliamentary barony of the Kildare family in right of their marriage with the heir; for we find it with the earldom inherited by

THOMAS (c1421-78), 7th Earl, who succeeded his father John, the 6th Earl, in 1427.
This nobleman was appointed, in 1454 and 1455, Lord Deputy of Ireland; in the latter of which years he held a great council, or parliament, in Dublin, and subsequently one at Naas, wherein, amongst other proceedings, it was resolved "that as no means could be found to keep the King's coin within the Kingdom of Ireland, that all Frenchmen, Spaniards, Britons, Portugese, and other sundry nations, should pay for every pound og silver they carried out of the land, 40 pence of custom to the king's customer, for the use of the King."
His lordship was continued in the government of Ireland until 1459, when Richard, Duke of York, was constituted Lord Lieutenant of Ireland; but the following year, Lord Kildare was appointed Deputy to the Duke of York.
This tide of prosperity continued to flow until 1467, when, being involved with the Earl of Desmond, he was attainted with that nobleman (who suffered death), but subsequently pardoned, set at liberty, and restored in blood, by act of parliament.
His lordship was afterwards a Lord Justice of Ireland; and, in 1471, Deputy to George, Duke of Clarence.

He died in 1478, and was succeeded by his eldest son (by Joan, daughter of James, 6th Earl of Desmond), 

GERALD (c1456-c1513), 8th Earl, KG;
who was constituted, on his accession to the peerage, Lord Deputy to Richard, Duke of York, and held a parliament at Naas. In 1480, he was re-appointed Lord Deputy; and again, upon the accession of HENRY VII, Deputy to Jasper, Duke of Bedford, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
Upon the arrival, however, of Lambert Simnel, and his tutor, Richard Simon, an Oxford priest, in Ireland, the Lord Deputy, the Chancellor, Treasurer, and other nobles in the York interest, immediately acknowledged the imposter, and had him proclaimed in Dublin, by the style of EDWARD VI;
and the Lord Deputy assisted with the others at his coronation at Christ Church Cathedral, in 1487, where the ceremony was performed with great solemnity, the Chancellor, the Archbishop of Dublin, the Earl of Lincoln, Lord Lovell, Jenico Marks, Mayor of Dublin, and several other persons of rank attending.
The crown was borrowed from the image of the Virgin Mary; John Pain, the Bishop of Meath, preached the coronation sermon; and the Pretender was subsequently conveyed upon the shoulders of Darcy, of Platten, a person of extraordinary height, to Dublin Castle, amidst the shouts of the populace.
In the engagement which afterwards decided the fate of Simnel, near Stoke, the Chancellor, FitzGerald, fell; but the Lord Deputy had the good fortune to make his peace with the King.
His lordship was nominated Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1496, when he was succeeded by his son,

GERALD (1487-1534), 9th Earl; who, with his five uncles, having revolted, was imprisoned in the Tower, where he died, in 1534, and an act was passed in the parliament of Ireland attainting him of high treason, and forfeiting the family honours and estates.

His eldest son,

THOMAS, 10th Earl, shared in the misfortunes of his father, and leaving no issue, was succeeded by his brother,

GERALD (1525-85), 11th Earl;
of whom a most remarkable account is given by a contemporary historian, Richard Stanihurst. It appears that, at the age of 10, he was preserved from the power of HENRY VIII by the precaution of his female relatives, and his tutor, Thomas Leurense, his father's foster-brother.
He wandered from court to court upon the Continent, until Cardinal Pole, who was related to his lordship's mother, sent for him into Italy and completed his education. He wedded Mabel, daughter of Sir Anthony Brown, and through the medium of that connection, obtained the favour of EDWARD VI, who conferred upon him, in 1552, the Lordship of Maynooth and other of his father's estates.
In the ensuing reign, he was fully restored, by letters patent, to the earldom of KILDARE and barony of Offaly, with the precedence of his ancestors.
It is a remarkable circumstance that, though attainted by act of parliament, this Gerald, under such grants from the Crown, but without any new statute, was summoned to, and actually sat as a peer in, the parliament of 1560, and it was not until the 11th year of ELIZABETH I that the attainter was removed by parliament.
His lordship's eldest son, GERALD, Lord Offaly, dying in the lifetime of the 11th Earl, left an only daughter, Lettice, who married Sir Robert Digby, and for a long time claimed the BARONY OF OFFALY, as heir of her father, but which claim, after being referred by JAMES I to the judges of England, was decided by His Majesty himself, who confirmed the barony of Offaly to the Earls of Kildare and their heirs male, and created Lady Digby BARONESS OFFALY for life;
whereupon that ancient title devolved on the deceased Earl's second son and successor,

HENRY, 12th Earl. This nobleman wedded Lady Frances Howard, daughter of Charles, Earl of Nottingham, and had surviving issue,
His lordship dying thus without male issue, was succeeded by his brother,

WILLIAM, 13th Earl; who died unmarried, when the honours devolved upon  (the son of Edward FitzGerald, brother of the 11th Earl, his kinsman,

GERALD, 14th Earl; whose grandson,

GEORGE, 16th Earl, was the first of the family brought up in the reformed religion, being so educated by his guardian, the Duke of Lennox.

His lordship wedded Lady Jane Boyle, daughter of the 1st Earl of Cork, and had, with other issue,
WENTWORTH, his successor;
Robert, father of ROBERT, 19th Earl.
George, 16th Earl, was succeeded by his elder surviving son,

WENTWORTH, 17th Earl, who was succeeded by his son,

JOHN, 18th Earl, who dsp in 1707, when the honours reverted to his cousin (refer to Captain Robert FitzGerald, second son of the 16th Earl), 

ROBERT (1675-1743), 19th Earl, third son of Captain Robert FitzGerald, seconnd son of the 16th Earl, who took a distinguished and active part in favour of WILLIAM III, during the contest in Ireland between that prince and his father-in-law, JAMES II.

This nobleman was an eminent statesman in the reigns of Queen ANNE, GEORGE I and GEORGE II.

His lordship espoused, in 1708, Mary, eldest daughter of William, 3rd Earl of Inchiquin, by whom he had four sons and eight daughters; and dying in 1743, was succeeded by his only son then living, 

JAMES, 20th Earl, who was created Viscount Leinster, of Taplow, in 1747; and in 1761, advanced to a marquessate, as Marquess of Kildare.

In 1766, his lordship was further advanced to the dignity of a dukedom, as DUKE OF LEINSTER.

His Grace wedded Lady Amelia Mary, daughter of Charles, Duke of Richmond and Lennox, by whom he had seventeen children, of whom were
WILLIAM ROBERT, his successor;
Charles James, 1st Baron Lecale;
Henry, m Charlotte, Baroness de Ros;
Robert Stephen;
Emilia Maria Margaret;
Charlotte Mary Gertrude;
Sophia Sarah Mary; Lucy Anne.
The Duke died in 1773, and was succeeded by his eldest son,
The heir presumptive is the 9th Duke's younger brother Lord John FitzGerald (born 1952)
The Dukes of Leinster are premier dukes, marquesses and earls of Ireland.

CARTON HOUSE, near Maynooth, County Kildare, remains one of the grandest stately homes in Ireland.

Formerly the ancestral seat of the  Dukes of Leinster, the demesne presently comprises 1,100 acres.

During a history spanning more than eight centuries, Carton House Hotel, County Kildare, has seen many changes.

The estate first came into the ownership of the FitzGerald family shortly after Maurice FitzGerald played an active role in the capture of Dublin by the Normans in 1170 and was rewarded by being appointed Lord of Maynooth, an area covering townlands which include Carton House.

His son became Baron Offaly in 1205 and his descendant, John FitzGerald, became Earl of Kildare in 1315.

Under the 8th Earl, the FitzGerald family reached pre-eminence as the virtual rulers of Ireland between 1477 and 1513.

However, the 8th Earl's grandson, the eloquently titled Silken Thomas was executed in 1537, with his five uncles, for leading an uprising against the Crown.

Although the FitzGeralds subsequently regained their land and titles, they did not regain their position at Court until the 18th century when Robert, the 19th Earl of Kildare, became a Privy Counsellor and a Lord Justice.

The first record of a house at Carton was in the 17th century when William Talbot, Recorder of the city of Dublin was given a lease of the lands by the 14th Earl of Kildare and is thought to have built a house.

The house and lands were forfeited to the crown in 1691 and in 1703 sold to Major-General Richard Ingoldsby, Master-General of the Ordnance.

In 1739, Richard Castle was employed by the 19th Earl of Kildare to build the existing house after it was bought by the 19th Earl of Kildare.

This was the same year the FitzGerald family bought Frescati House. Castle (originally Cassels) was also responsible for some other grand Irish houses including Westport House, Powerscourt House and in 1745, Leinster House, which he also built for the FitzGeralds.

In 1747 James the 20th Earl of Kildare and from 1766 first Duke of Leinster, married Lady Emily Lennox, daughter of the Duke of Richmond and great-granddaughter of King Charles II.

LADY EMILY played an important role in the development of the house and estate as it is today. She created the Chinese room (bedroom to Queen Victoria) and decorated the famous Shell Cottage on the estate with shells from around the world.

One of Lady Emily's 23 children was the famous Irish Patriot Lord Edward FitzGerald, leader of the 1798 rebellion.

Leinster House (formerly Kildare House)

Carton remained unaltered until 1815 when the 3rd Duke decided to sell Leinster House to the Royal Dublin Society and make Carton his principal residence. He employed Richard Morrison to enlarge and re-model the house.

Morrison replaced the curved colonnades with straight connecting links to obtain additional rooms including the famous dining room. At this time, the entrance to the house was moved to the north side.

Carton remained in the control of the FitzGeralds until the early 1920s when the 7th Duke sold his birthright to a moneylender, Sir Harry Mallaby Deeley, in order to pay off gambling debts of £67,500.

He was third in line to succeed and so did not think he would ever inherit, but one of his brothers died in the war and another of a brain tumour and so Carton was lost to the FitzGeralds.

In 1923 a local unit of the IRA went to Carton with the intention of burning it down. However, they were stopped when a member of the FitzGerald family brought a large painting of Lord Edward FitzGerald to the door and pointed out that they would be burning the house of a revered Irish patriot.

Ronald Nall-Cain, 2nd Baron Brocket, whose principal residence was Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire, purchased the house in 1949; and in 1977 his son, the Hon David Nall-Cain, who had by then moved to the Isle of Man, sold the house to its present owners, Lee and Mary Mallaghan.

Carton House  was remodelled by Richard Castle in 1739, building an enormous central, pedimented block, curved colonnades and wings.

Their Graces' Dublin residence, Kildare House, later renemed Leinster House, easily the grandest private home in the Irish capital, was erected by the same architect six years later.

The Organ Room or Gold Saloon is probably the most magnificent and important room in the House, with its Victorian Pipe organ at one end; its sumptuous gilded walls, ceiling and plasterwork.

The Chinese Room (below) also retains its 18th century character, resplendent with its Chinese wallpaper of 1759 and the sumptuous gilded embellishments within the room.

It has been unfortunate that Carton no longer belongs to either the Dukes of Leinster who created it; nor the Nall-Cains, whose role was notable, too.

Both families left for reasons of impecuniosity: The 7th Duke squandered the family fortune.

The Dukes of Leinster were, by far, the greatest landowners in County Kildare, with an immense amount of property and ground rents in Dublin and Athy.

There were prosperous tenant farms and the family had to release this land under the terms of the Wyndham Act of 1903.

Carton House and demesne has been lovingly restored to become a de luxe hotel.

First published in May, 2011.  Leinster arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Order of St Patrick: NI List


The Order of St Patrick remains technically extant.

It features in the orders of chivalry section of the Royal Family website.

The Knights listed below had connections in one form or another with Northern Ireland.


  • 2nd Earl of Clanbrassil 1783
  • 1st Earl of Charlemont 1783
  • 1st Earl of Ely 1783
  • 1st Marquess of Ely 1794
  • 2nd Earl of Roden 1806
  • 2nd Marquess of Ely 1807
  • 1st Earl O'Neill 1809
  • 2nd Earl of Enniskillen 1810
  • 2nd Marquess of Donegall 1821
  • 2nd Earl of Caledon 1821
  • 3rd Earl of Roden 1821
  • 2nd Earl of Charlemont 1831
  • 3rd Marquess of Downshire 1831
  • 10th Viscount Massereene 1851
  • 3rd Earl of Gosford 1855
  • 4th Marquess of Londonderry 1856
  • 3rd Marquess of Donegall 1857
  • 4th Marquess of Downshire 1859
  • 1st Marquess of Dufferin & Ava 1864
  • 2nd Baron Lurgan 1864
  • 3rd Earl of Charlemont 1865
  • 3rd Earl of Erne 1868
  • 4th Earl of Gosford 1869
  • 5th Marquess of Londonderry 1874
  • 7th Duke of Manchester 1877
  • 4th Earl of Erne 1889
  • 3rd Earl of Kilmorey 1890
  • 4th Earl of Caledon 1897
  • 4th Earl of Enniskillen 1902
  • 24th Baron de Ros 1902
  • 1st Viscount Pirrie 1909
  • 9th Earl of Shaftesbury 1911
  • 3rd Duke of Abercorn 1922
The first three appointees were founder members of the Order. 

The Most Noble James, 3rd Duke of Abercorn, KG KP PC, was the final non-royal conferral before the Order went into abeyance.

First published on the 17th March, 2011.

Ballynahinch Castle


RICHARD MARTIN MP (1754-1834) owned much of Connemara, so much so that he boasted to GEORGE IV that he had "an approach from my gatehouse to my hall of thirty miles' length".

He was nicknamed "Humanity Dick" due to his beneficence towards the RSPCA.

Colonel Martin was born in 1754, the son of Robert Martin FitzAnthony, a member of an old tribal family of Connemara.

His mother died when Richard was only nine years old and his father soon remarried to Mary Lynch, who later gave Richard two brothers.

The families' combined wealth allowed Richard to receive an excellent Anglican education.

He attended Harrow and Cambridge while studying law, and afterwards started a most extensive 'Gentleman's Tour' to round out his knowledge.

With his cousin, James Jordan, Richard travelled all over Europe.

They eventually left Bordeaux bound for Jamaica, and later ended up in New England for the start of the American War of Independence.

The two young men promptly returned home, and by the end of the 1770s, Richard's education and his familys' influence combined to make him an MP; a Colonel in the Galway Volunteers; and gained him a wife, Elizabeth Vesey.

His duties kept him away from home quite a bit, but the couple had several children, one of whom is rumored to be the child of a liaison between Elizabeth and the tutor hired to educate Richard's sons, Theobald Wolfe Tone.

It was during this period that he began to acquire a reputation and nickname relating to his many duels, as "Trigger Dick", a nickname which was also held by his uncle.

In 1783, he dueled with "Fighting" Fitzgerald, a Mayo Landlord, over the man's shooting of a friend's dog.

He also apparently made friends with the Prince of Wales, later GEORGE IV, as the two men shared many ideals and both were seen in Parliament quite often.

Richard's wife Elizabeth continued to show her knack for indiscretion, and the two divorced in 1794 after a scandal over her affair with a Mr Petrie of Paris. Dick Martin remarried in 1797, and had several more children.

By the early 1800s, Martin's estate was vast and the biggest in Ireland, encompassing over 200,000 acres.

His wealth and friendship with the Prince of Wales continued to increase his influence in Parliament and elsewhere.

Dick was persuaded to vote for the Act of Union in 1800, something he soon bitterly regretted, and was responsible for excising the death penalty for forgery.

In 1809, Lord Erskine presented a bill in Parliament to prevent cruelty to such animals as horses, pigs, oxen, and sheep.

The bill failed, however and, later in 1822, Richard was responsible for the passing of the Martin Act, which applied to large domestic animals.

It is at this time that Dick acquired the nickname of "Humanity".

His friend, the Prince of Wales, later GEORGE IV,  gave him the nickname.

Two years later, Richard created the first animal welfare society - the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, with other like-minded people.

Richard Martin remained a Member of Parliament until his election to Westminster in 1826 was invalidated.

The scandal and his ensuing debt forced Richard to flee to Boulogne in France.

He died peacefully on the January 6th, 1834.

The great family estate, which he helped to create, was lost during the Great Potato famine within 20 years.

Richard Martin's life is largely marked by his efforts to attain human and animal rights. He supported Catholic Emancipation, and is generally considered the founder of the RSPCA.

It is rather ironic, that his families' great wealth, some of which came out of human injustice, was later lost during the Irish Famine.

His estates were heavily mortgaged and, as a consequence of this, his granddaughter and heiress, Mary Martin, was ruined after the Irish famine.

Ballynahinch was disposed of by the Encumbered Estates Court. Mary Martin and her husband emigrated to the USA, where she died shortly afterwards during childbirth.

Ballynahinch Estate was bought by Richard Berridge, whose son sold it in 1925; thereafter it was acquired by a celebrated cricketer, "Ranji".


The seat of Richard Berridge was Ballynahinch Castle, County Galway, Ireland, which became the residence of his son, Richard, who was a justice of the peace for the county and, in 1894, High Sheriff.

Richard Berridge the elder lived for over twenty years in Bloomsbury, first at 36 Bloomsbury Square, then, from about 1856 to 1877, at 18 Great Russell Street. Prior to this he had resided in Rochester, Kent, and he acquired property in that county as well as in Middlesex.

A return of landowners in 1873 describes his holdings in Middlesex as over 300 acres with a gross estimated rental of £577, and a smaller amount in Kent, 79 acres worth £184.15s. He also had mining interests and property in other counties.

Berridge entered into partnership with Sir Henry Meux of the Horse Shoe Brewery, Tottenham Court Road. He retired in July 1878 on the establishment of the new firm of Meux and Company.

In the late 1870s Berridge left Bloomsbury for an address in Putney, Surrey, and, after a few years, went to live in Bridgewater, Somerset. He died on 20 September 1887 leaving five daughters and one son, Richard, born in 1870.

The estate was administered by trustees until Richard Berridge the younger came of age. In his will, Berridge bequeathed a charity legacy of £200,000 to be applied for the advancement and propagation of education in economic and sanitary sciences in Great Britain.
The legacy was administered by his trustees, who donated large sums to the Worshipful Company of Plumbers and the British Institute of Preventive Medicine, and smaller amounts to other institutions and societies, such as the Sanitary Inspectors' Association and Queen Victoria's Jubilee Institute for Nurses.

Berridge's name was legally changed to Richard Berridge when he adopted his mother's surname in lieu of his father's surname. He was born with the name of Richard MacCarthy.

Richard Berridge, a London brewer, from the Law Life Assurance Society, also acquired Clifden estate (as well as Ballynahinch Castle).

In the mid 1870s, Berridge is recorded as owning over 160,152 acres, making him by far the largest landowner in County Galway.

The Berridge family retained a house in the locality and some fishing at Screebe until the late 20th century.

A grandson of Richard Berridge married an Orme of Owenmore, Crossmolina, County Mayo; and a great-grandson currently produces well known Irish cheeses on his farm in county Wexford.

BALLYNAHINCH CASTLE, Connemara, County Galway, is a long mansion with an abundance of windows, built in the late 18th century by Richard Martin MP.

Both the entrance front and the garden front (eight bays) have battlements and other distinguishing features.

Inside, the main rooms have particularly thick mahogany doors; the drawing-room, a chimney-piece of Connemara marble.

First published in April, 2011.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

The Leinster Ape

THOMAS, 2nd Baron Desmond, was nicknamed the APE, a surname thus acquired ~ being only nine months old when his father and grandfather fell at Callann, his attendants rushing out at the first astonishment excited by the intelligence, left the child alone in its cradle, when a baboon, kept in the family, took him up, and carried him to the top of the steeple of Tralee Abbey;

whence, after conveying him round the battlements, and exhibiting him to the appalled spectators, he brought him down safely, and laid him in his cradle.

From this tradition the supporters of the house of LEINSTER are said to have been adopted.

This Thomas was constituted a Lord Justice of Ireland, and captain of all Desmond, in 1295; and being of so much power, was generally styled Prince and Ruler of Munster.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Londonderry House Ball




THE NEXT NIGHT, a starlit night, was also a gay one in Park Lane when Lady Mairi Bury had a coming-out dance for her petite, blonde daughter, the Hon Elizabeth Keppel.

Lady Mairi, in tangerine paper-taffeta and fabulous tiara and necklace of square-cut diamonds and emeralds, stood at the top of the imposing staircase of Londonderry House - her childhood home - to receive her guests.

It was a wonderful setting for a ball, though Lady Mairi told me that she thought Elizabeth might well be the last of the Londonderry family to have a coming-out there.

In the gold-and-white ballroom the gay colours of dresses glowed softly under the chandeliers.

The young men, the Earl of Portarlington, Mr Alexander Cadogan, Mr William Lindsay-Hogg, Mr Paul Channon MP, and the Hon John Jolliffe, found that they had only to walk a few yards from the dance-floor to sit out in rooms hung with fine old paintings.

As Elizabeth is the eldest of her branch of the family, there were many relatives present:-

Her father, Viscount Bury; the Earl & Countess of Albemarle, her cousin the Hon Camilla Jessel, the Dowager Viscountess Chaplin and the Hon Walter & Mrs Keppel.

For the older generation it was an evening of memories - memories of some of the greatest pre-war parties when Prime Ministers and future Prime Ministers argued long after dinner.

The hostess on these occasions was Lady Mairi's mother, the late Dowager Marchioness of Londonderry.

  • Hon Elizabeth Anson 
  • Elizabeth Blakiston-Houston 
  • Hon Sarah Boyle 
  • Lady Elizabeth Charteris 
  • Lady Rose Chetwynd-Talbot 
  • Lady Carey Coke 
  • Lady Diana Douglas-Home 
  • Lady Anne, Lady Mary & Lady Sarah Fitzalan-Howard 
  • Belinda Guinness
    The Hon Lucinda Lambton
  • The Duke & Duchess of Abercorn 
  • The Viscount & Viscountess Allendale 
  • Lord Annaly 
  • The Earl & Countess of Antrim 
  • Mr Mark & Lady Annabel Birley 
  • Lady Perdita Blackwood 
  • Viscount Bury 
  • Marquess of Clydesdale 
  • The Earl of Dudley MC 
  • The Marchioness of Dufferin & Ava 
  • The Lord & Lady Glentoran 
  • Colonel & the Hon Mrs Grosvenor 
  • Lt-Cdr & Hon Mrs O King 
  • Raffaele, Duchess of Leinster 
  • Mr & Mrs John Profumo 
  • The Duke & Duchess of Sutherland 
  • The Lord Talbot de Malahide 
  • The Lord & Lady Wakehurst 
  • The Hon Helen Ward 
  • The Dean of Windsor & Mrs Hamilton 
  • Viscount Anson 
  • Paul Channon MP 
  • Viscount Chelsea 
  • The Marquess of Dufferin & Ava 
  • The Lord Dunleath 
  • Viscount Dunluce 
  • The Earl of Gowrie 
  • Marquess of Hamilton 
  • Lord Anthony Hamilton 
  • Viscount Jocelyn 
  • The Lord O'Neill 
  • Andrew & Gavin Perceval-Maxwell 
  • Lord Sudeley 
  • The Viscount Sudeley 
  • The Earl of Suffolk

 Londonderry arms courtesy of European Heraldry. First published in December, 2011.